Lonely Planet Writer

Facial recognition technology could help passengers board planes faster at Amsterdam airport

A new pilot project at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam is hoping to get travellers on board their flight faster without ever showing their passport or boarding pass.

KLM is trying boarding via a facial recognition system.
KLM is trialling boarding via a facial recognition system. Image by KLM

The ‘biometric boarding’ project with the airline KLM hopes to help travellers board their flight faster using a special door that recognises passengers’ faces. The airport and airline are studying the technology of facial recognition, and how fast, reliable and user-friendly it could be at airport gates.

The pilot project will last at least three months and will be at a special gate in the airport. Passengers boarding using facial recognition will have to register first. According to the airline, there will be a special registration kiosk where KLM staff will help passengers sign up in the waiting area near the gate.

KLM is trying boarding via a facial recognition system.
KLM is trialling boarding via a facial recognition system. Image by KLM

The registration will require the traveller to scan their passport, boarding pass and their face. If that seems a little intimidating, KLM says that the data will only be used for the test and will be wiped after travellers board their flights.

The proposed system is part of Schiphol’s goal to become a ‘leading digital airport’ in 2018 and to develop ways to speed up travel. Over the past two years, the airport and KLM have introduced the very first security scan for passengers, crew and staff. The airport has also run a pilot project with traveller-guiding robots and a test that will allow passengers to leave their laptops and liquids in their bags at security.

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